War & politics: Sept 11th, bin Laden, Middle East news, from my own perspective.
"KHARTOUM - Foreign ministers of the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Thursday voiced support to US target Yasser Arafat as leader of the Palestinian people. " Arabs are standing together. Euros a little too. Scared.
"NATO has agreed to launch a campaign to protect against a weapons of mass destruction attack by groups deemed as terrorists as well as their state sponsors, including Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria." Dirty bombs, plague, this is serious stuff, and mad Muslims want to do it.
"Efforts are under way to flush out the remaining Al Qaeda militants from the area. Local sources speak of tension prevailing in the area amidst warnings of dire consequences by tribal elders in case soldiers entered the houses without their consultation. " Mad Muslims everywhere. Still everywhere.
"According to the proposed provision, if in the opinion of the president, the cabinet with the prime minister at its head is responsible for serious abuse of authority or failure to check corruption or compromise on national security interests or violation of the Constitution, he may, in his discretion, relieve the prime minister and the cabinet of their functions and appoint another member of the National Assembly under clause (2) as the prime minister" One man's finger on on the big red button.
"A 35-year-old Lebanese Jew who immigrated to Israel ten years ago was charged today in a Tel Aviv court with providing Hizbullah maps of Tel Aviv, pinpointing the locations of fuel depots and electrical power stations, with the intent of harming Israel's security." The war goes on, deeper and deeper.
"U.S. analysts believe that by disabling or taking command of the floodgates in a dam, for example, or of substations handling 300,000 volts of electric power, an intruder could use virtual tools to dam, for example, or of substations handling 300,000 volts of electric power, an intruder could use virtual tools to destroy real-world lives and property. They surmise, with limited evidence, that Al Qaeda aims to employ those techniques in synchrony with "kinetic weapons" such as explosives." Everything is wide open. Our culture has been wide open, based on the prophesies of our understanding of closed societies, like USSR and the book "1984."
"New Jihadist Army Forming in Balkans: The next radical Islamic terror attack in America could well originate in a corner of the Balkans, where a new jihad force is taking shape quietly and unhindered." Mad Muslims are getting everywhere.
"He and his army have brought disorder wherever they have settled. In 1969 they based themselves in Jordan, where they soon began terrorizing the local people, running extortion rackets against businesses, and undermining the Jordanian regime. Black September followed in 1970: Jordan's King Hussein launched a huge and bloody war against the Palestinians, killing thousands and leading to the expulsion of Arafat and his army. The same sort of thing happened in Lebanon a decade later, with Palestinian thugs looting banks and destroying the local government. The Syrians finally came in to restore order, in what became known as Black June. Arafat has somehow survived his many crises"
Whitehouse, Bush's speech. Looks like it's coming soon. Bush has all but politically assassinated Arafat, thus gone against the bulk of the Arab world's wishes.
We know Bush is out to assasinate Saddam. If he cannot he'll invade, either from the north with Kurdish backing, or from the south with the usual Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian but also Qatar and Bahrainian support.
Already the race is on to find the next Iraqi dictator.
Lybia is coming on side.
"There are also doubts among the American military about the wisdom of attacking Iraq. At a meeting with President Bush last month, General Tommy Franks laid out some of their concerns. These included:
These difficulties provide a context for the disclosure, last weekend, that President Bush has signed an order authorising the CIA and American special forces to use "lethal force" to capture or kill Saddam Hussein - in other words, to organise a coup.
" KARACHI, Pakistan June 14 ÷ A suicide attacker crashed a bomb-laden car into a guard post outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing five people and injuring at least 25 others on Friday.
The massive blast incinerated a dozen cars, including two police vehicles, and sent debris flying a half-mile.
The massive blast incinerated a dozen cars, including two police vehicles, and sent debris flying a half-mile."
"Tehran has mostly itself to blame for the undue attention its northwest regions are winning from the United States. For reasons known only to themselves, Iranian leaders agreed to open a passageway through this sensitive area for Kurdish veterans of al Qaeda action in Afghanistan or Kashmir to transit on their way to the Kurdish provinces of northern Iraq. Iraqi authorities give those returning fighters a warm welcome and promptly recruit them to Baghdad's "Kurdish national battalion", currently deployed in an Iraqi army camp near the oil city of Mosul. The Iraqis hope to send their Kurdish fighters into battle against the anti-Iraqi Kurdish forces mustered by the US, which are currently being trained in northern Iraq by CIA and US Special Forces instructors."
Iran thinks it too will suffer a US attack, as the US cannot bomb Iraq and leave Iran the strongest force in the region.
"Mr Powell, in an interview with a London-based Arab paper, al-Hayat, floated a series of ideas, including the creation of the "temporary" Palestinian state, a halfway house on the way to full statehood.
Mr Powell echoed Arab demands for "the end of the occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza by Israel, for "the creation of a state called Palestine" and for "the end of settlement activity". "
They should do this, but also go after Iraq. Then the Arab world will be confused? Maybe.
Right now the world is a very strange place. And with more talk about Syria giving the Lebanese Hizballah chemical war heads, I'm even more worried. Not long before they'll start using small pox.
this is not a time for the US to be so disorganised.
Bushs Allgemeinbildung: Gibt es Schwarze in Brasilien? - Panorama - SPIEGEL ONLINE: "During a conversation between the two presidents, George W. Bush, 55, (USA) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 71, (Brazil), Bush bewildered his colleague with the question "Do you have blacks, too?""
I think Iraq's gonna get nuked.
However, Urban Legends Reference Pages: Questionable Quote says "the Washington Post has the White House dismissed this quote as "total crap."". So maybe Bush isn't as dumb as people make out, but I still think he's dumb enough or badly advised enough to nuke Iraq.
I still think he should.
ABCNEWS.com : Woman Recalls Encounter With 9/11 Leader: "He said he had just arrived in the United States from Afghanistan "to start his dream, which was to go flight school and get his pilot's license, and work both as a charter pilot and a crop duster too," she said. He was seeking $650,000 for a crop-dusting business.
"He wanted to finance a twin-engine six-passenger aircraft "
What the fuck are these guys doing looking for money? I thought they were so well financed and so secretive too. (MetaFilter thinks it a bullshit story.)
How Bad Can a 'Dirty Bomb' Be?. "Some predict the detonation of a radiological weapon would make huge sections of a city uninhabitable for decades, while others' assessments aren't as dire." [Wired News]
Apparently, cesium-137 'bonds' to roofs and stuff, so a whole area needs to be abandoned. How big that area is depends on the bomb and the panic.
International Herald Tribune: 'Dirty bomb' plot uncovered in U.S.: "...even a small amount of radioactive material, if properly milled into fine particles and dispersed by a conventional explosive, could spread radioactive particles over an area of several blocks."
Do you really think that this is not going to happen over the next 2-50 years? It is just too easy with too much reward.
International Herald Tribune: Bush team drafts first-strike policy
By Washington Post writers.
This story is going to pop up more and more. It's real. We may not even hear what happens. I know US and UK forces have attacked Iraq over the no fly zone so many times, perhaps it became non news.
I wouldn't be surprised to wake up one morning soon to hear that Bagdad has been erased. There is a surprise policy with "new weapons and capabilities to give Bush options different than those he may have had in the past."
Steve Hooker's Radio: Steve Hooker's Radio: "None of the American moves have been lost on Saddam Hussein. DEBKAfile's military sources report he has responded by relocating around six elite divisions of his Republican guard in the north and west, unwillingly tipping his hand on the Iraqi defense plan against a potential US-Kurdish-Turkish offensive coming from the north." (copied, because debka don't do archives.)
Debka does it again, looks like September would be a good time for war, what with it looking like the Kurds starting it, and all the US is doing is helping them out.
I've always wondered why the US is playing the situation so close to its chest, and not doing much on the diplomatic front, only looking as though it was trying.
"All these maneuvers are still in progress. DEBKAfile's military sources predict their accompaniment by escalating Palestinian terrorist assaults against Israel. Yasser Arafat will do all he can to back up Saddam's military moves and impede American efforts to unseat him. He knows that if the Iraqi ruler is weakened or finished, the Arafat regime will go the same way. His Baghda-Tehran-Riyadh-Damascus-Hizballah support-and-supply group is a vital element for his survival."
My personal opinion is that Saddam should be nuked. I'm sure he will be. It's the only demonstration of one-up-manship in this war. Then, if the Muslim separatists in Kashmir don't wise up, they'll be for the chop too. I had hoped the world would be able to sort itself out, but it ain't old enough, it needs a dominating force, it need to be led, and the leaders in the Middle East, particularly the Muslim ones, are leading their people to war, not peace and success.
DEBKAfile Military-Intelligence Analysis: In Full-Scale War, India and Pakistan Plan Deep Reciprocal Invasions: "despite the frantic diplomatic comings and goings, none has tried too hard to avert the hostilities until the eleventh hour, each for its own reasons... the fall months of September and October 2002 seeing three full-scale wars raging at one and the same time, between India and Pakistan, the US and Iraq and Israel and the Palestinians.
the fall months of September and October 2002 seeing three full-scale wars raging at one and the same time, between India and Pakistan, the US and Iraq and Israel and the Palestinians."
I've copied the story because Debka has no archive. But, re reading this again, with my cynical eyes, it looks bad, really bad. Everybody is up for it happening, there's more reality in full scale nuclear war with Pak-India, and with Iraq-US but Isreal-Palestine? If there's a 'get the Moozie' then, this war will turn into a generational war. My feeling is it always was. From 50 years ago with the UK's screw up with Kashmir, and 40 years ago with Palestine. It's just started to get worse.
I notice the UK or Pres Blair is absent.
Whitehouse today: Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer: "Q Ari, thank you. What is your assessment now of the prospects for nuclear war between India and Pakistan? And does the U.S., Russia, China have enough leverage to use on these countries to dissuade them?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the situation remains tense, the situation remains delicate and our diplomacy is ongoing."
A war is always good for business. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of questions of the order, "Are we going to attack Iraq and Iran, with nuclear weapons if the Pak-Indian war breaks out and will Russia stay out or join as they support India, will China support Pakistan, and what about the Philippines?" The US cannot afford to get in to the ground troop body bags, so the recent strike first policy means nukes. Bush seems the kinda guy to start pushing buttons.
At the Whitehouse.gov today: Press Briefing by Scott McClellan: "Q Thank you. This is a serious question. It sounds a bit selfish, but at some point will the White House or Homeland Security put out suggestions or regulations for Americans how to deal with the possibility of nuclear fallout, because if there is, God forbid, a war, it's going to hit here, too. "
Asia Times: India/Pakistan: "In other words, the general is saying that unless the US and other Western countries bring India around to accepting Islamabad's call for a plebiscite in Kashmir, the consequences could be dire indeed. "
Asia Times: India/Pakistan: "Senior intelligence sources say that Pakistan will try to convince nations that the Kashmiri movement is not terrorism but a pure uprising on the part of the indigenous people seeking the right to self-determination. Under rules guiding the 1947 partition of British India that gave birth to India and Pakistan, overwhelmingly Muslim Kashmir went to Indian control because its Hindu maharajah wanted it."
This puts context on a very worrying situation, and escalates my anxiety.